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Branch Operations and Time Management

December 3, 2010

A Lobby Tracking SystemTM Case Study

Going back to ancient Egypt for thousands of years, tools have been used to measure and keep track of time.  From obelisks to atomic clocks, mankind has relied on these devices as the cornerstone to countless projects.  With 13 locations, Arkansas Federal Credit Union (AFCU) recently implemented an innovative queue management solution with the goal of improving their time management practices in their branch operations.  The FMSI Lobby Tracking SystemTM (LTS) is a queue management and reporting solution that ultimately assisted AFCU towards improving their member sign-in process and also gave them the reporting they needed to improve their staffing productivity.

Improving Member Sign-In Process

So how does the LTS queue management process work for AFCU?  Essentially, when a member arrives in the lobby they enter their information into a kiosk or a greeter types in their information into a computer on his or her desk.  Immediately, all Member Service Specialist (MSS) and management can see the member’s name, along with their pertinent visiting information, through the LTS queue management tool.  Having this seamless electronic tracking process maximizes the member experience by expediting the flow of information between the different credit union employees.  Everybody knows who is working with whom and how long they are working with them. 

Furthermore, they can see which solution the member is there to discuss. This is particularly useful when there is a requirement for a certain loan that only one credit union employee has the skill set to discuss. It is common in this scenario for members to have a longer wait time.  Having this valuable information “real-time” when the member signs-in, helps the credit union to establish wait time expectations with the members.

Decision Support through Extensive Reporting
On a weekly basis, Tammy R. Christian who is the AVP/Branch Operations at AFCU – is faced with many questions that the LTS reports help her answer.  For example, when a branch has an overwhelming wait time, what is the historic threshold metric that triggers increasing staff levels?  Another example, why are these two specific MSS taking much longer to process a HELOC than any other MSS?  Tammy described her LTS experience by stating, “Monitoring and improving branch operations by utilizing the detailed Lobby Tracking SystemTM reports, not only makes my job much easier, it also helps to establish accountability for everyone on my team to perform at a higher level.  I do not know what I would do without it.”

Understanding which MSS needs additional training has been very beneficial for AFCU.  Most importantly, identifying the specific products and solutions they are struggling with has led to more efficient product sales training.  The LTS reports have allowed them to avoid spending valuable time training specific employees on products with which they are already comfortable.  The employees appreciate the targeted approach and management has noticed the improved performance results.

Best Practices from the AVP/Branch Operations at AFCU

  • In our busier branches, we are utilizing LTS to alert our Collection Department and Financial Services Department associates that people that are there to see them.  This has significantly reduced the wait times for our members looking for these services.
  • Train your employees to never delete members from the LTS system.  This can cause problems by not showing a complete picture.  For example, if members leave without being assisted, you need to track this for future analysis.

With thousands of years of history, it is clear that time management projects have been and will be a critical component in business practices.  By utilizing FMSI’s Lobby Tracking SystemTM, Arkansas Federal Credit Union has better managed time in their branch operation, leading to an improved member experience and a staff that is more productive.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2010 12:58 am

    Does your Lobby Tracking System have memory? Meaning are returning customers able to start typing there information and it comes up and is automatically populated? We have this system and that is a problem we are experiencing. The members are frustrated that they need to complete all information everytime they come in for service.

  2. December 16, 2010 7:45 pm

    All customer input should be entered at the kiosk interface of LTS. For kiosk users the only typing they would do is first and last name. If you are willing to import member number and member names into LTS, then the only thing they would need to enter is their member number and the first and last name fields would be populated. If they can only remember a portion of their member number, LTS has the ability to match the number they enter with what is in the database and give them the closest match. Other optional selections are chose who or what group they wish to visit with and which services they are looking for.

    Feel free to contact me for further discussion. 770-619-3443 x227 -Chad

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